21 May 2010

Hitchen on - appeasing the strong while abandoning the weak

Earlier today I posted an article to my other blog, i On Global Trends, called, The perplexities of UN-DRC relations .

While the article makes some valid points, personally I think the main cause of "perplexities of UN-DRC relations" is that the U.N. is a toothless tiger - especially MONUC, who have failed to act against atrocities and in many cases, made the situation worse.

For example: a UN-backed offensive to destroy a Hutu rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo had disastrous humanitarian consequences, with more than 1,000 civilians killed, 7,000 raped, and 900,000 forced from their homes.

There was also the 105 kilometers trail of death - bodies strewn all along the Lord's 'Resistance Army's 105-kilometer journey through the Makombo area and the small town of Tapili. The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Congo (MONUC) had some 1,000 peacekeeping troops in the LRA-affected areas of northeastern Congo - far too few to protect the population adequately.

Yet, instead of sending more troops, the U.N. are ending their mission in the DRC, mainly because the government wants them to. The DRC government is particularly keen the presence of foreign troops wont spoil their no doubt lavish birthday bash on June 30, the date on which the former Belgian Congo will celebrate 50 years of independence.

The Congolese government of course wants it all ways. On one hand they want the withdrawal of MONUC, yet they still demand UN support, logistical assistance - and of course, their money.

The "perplexities" of UN-DRC relations - or any other relations for that matter, could be solved if just for once, the United Nations had enough guts to stand up to tin pot little leaders and jumped up militia/rebel leaders who murder, rape and maim with relative impunity, instead of trying to avoid offending the sensibilities of corrupt governments and ruthless murderers in designer sunglasses and camouflage jackets adorned with jingle-jangle milk bottle tops awarded for their bravery in bashing to death elderly women chained to trees.

If the DRC wants UN support and assistance, fine - give it to them. But the troops stay, and to hell with "rules of engagement". If civilians are in danger from the LRA or any other armed group, the rules of engagement should be, "Shoot first, make up the rules later".

The DRC Government should be told in no uncertain terms, there is no such thing as a free lunch. For millions of Congolese, there is no such thing as lunch, dinner or breakfast - just starvation, poverty, torture and death - aided and abetted by those who in theory exist to protect the weak from the powerful, the deadly and the corrupt, but in reality are far more concerned with agendas that have little to do with those whose names they all too often use and betray.

Yes, my perspective may be simplistic - but the people who are dying in pain are not well versed in the complexities of diplomatic relations. They are just well versed in misery and death. They are my concern, not protocols, treaties or agreements that no party has any intention of observing.

Wherever you may be - be safe
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